Best Marker Reviews 2023

There is a flurry of shopping activities during back-to-school season. With the heavy matters such as backpacks and school clothes on our minds, we may forget the small items such as markers. We’re making the job easier for you by bringing you information on some of the best marker brands, and a great option from each one of them for your reviewing pleasure. In case you want more marker options, these companies have more where these came from, and you might like to check them out as well. Don’t forget that we also have reviews on permanent markers, dry erase markers, Sharpie markers and highlighters (all of them done with as much attention), and you’re welcome to check those out too.
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Our Top Choice
BIC Marking Permanent Marker Fashion Colors
BIC is a household name popular for its ballpoint pens, markers and stationery, and for shavers and lighters.
Marks practically any surface. Long-lasting ink. Convenient storage in pack. Draws smoothly. Fine tips can draw thin and thick lines.
There might be a small amount of bleeding.
Permanent marker
Fine tip
4 different counts
Assorted colors (36)
Acid-free; ACMI approved
Best Value
Crayola Pip-Squeaks Skinnies Washable Markers
For over one hundred years, Crayola has provided tools kids can use to create answers to the questions on their imaginative minds.
Slim barrel fits kids’ little hands. Fine tips can draw both thin and thick lines. Many color options. Ink doesn’t bleed. Tips are sturdy.
Some caps do not reflect correct ink color.
Washable markers
Conical tip
Assorted colors
Mr. Sketch Scented Washable Markers
For decades, Mr. Sketch has provided fun coloring experiences for kids and created pleasantly scented memories.
Scents last long after coloring. Water-based and doesn’t bleed. Fruity fragrances. Chisel tips produce fine to broad lines. Three of each color. Strong durable tips.
The stains may not wash off easily.
Washable markers
Chisel tip
5 different counts
12 colors available
Scented; non-toxic
Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Art Markers
Prismacolor is renowned for its high-end artists’ supplies that are popular with professionals and hobbyists alike.
Markers blend awesomely. Great for manga and comic creations. Creates large array of colors. Superior quality ink. Ink flows smoothly.
There is a slight characteristic marker odor.
Washable markers
Double tip - fine and chisel
4 different counts
12 colors available
Alcohol/dye-based, non-toxic
Sharpie Extreme Permanent Markers
For Sharpie, the mission is to motivate people to boldly make their mark.
Won't dry out quickly. Works on a variety of surfaces including wood, glass and plastic. Durable lasting tips.
Avoid mistakes as they’re indeed permanent.
Permanent marker
Fine tip
4 different counts
Black, blue, green, red
Water-based, non-toxic

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Watch Our Marker Review

What is the Best Marker?

What qualifies as the best marker for you depends on you. But good markers will not leave your fingers covered in ink stains, give you smudged pictures, or have a smell that chokes the living daylights out of you. With a good marker, you’ll have clean lines and bold colors. With the knowledge from our buying guide, it should be quite easy to figure out what to get from our following review.
Our Top Choice
The BIC Marking Permanent Marker Fashion Colors 36-Count comes in a vibrant assortment of trendy colors with low odors. The rubber grips provide comfortable control of the markers. If you’re working on art projects where small details and fine lines are abundant, take a look at another marker set with the same color assortment but finer tips: the BIC Marking Permanent Marker Fashion Colors, Ultra Fine Point.

BIC Marking Fashion Colors Fine Permanent Markers – Available In 8, 12, 24 and 36 Count Packs

In 1944, Marcel Bich went into partnership with Édouard Buffard to start making parts for writing instruments. Six years later, after improving upon the ballpoint pen invented by Laszlo Biro, the BIC Cristal ballpoint pen was born. Today, more than seventy years later, BIC has kept up its tradition of making superior quality solutions, which are simple yet inventive. This company believes that providing products that offer customers the same service quality from the first to the last day (or time) of use is the best way to earn and keep its customers’ loyalty. Its ballpoint pens write for over 1.2 miles, its Flex 3 razor gives as many as 17 shaves, and its full-sized lighter delivers up to 3000 stable flames.

Available in different counts, the BIC Marking Permanent Marker Fashion Colors carries an interesting collection of colors that aren’t what you’d find in your regular marker set. The markers come in a plastic, see-through, tri-fold pack that is reusable as a storage container for the markers when they aren’t in use. The plastic pack is impressively sturdy and opens into a freestanding three-sided unit, with the markers arranged in color families on each side. There’s even a small compartment where pencils and other items can be stored!

These fine-tipped markers can mark on almost anything: glass, ceramic, foil, coated paper, oily surfaces and so on. You can draw fine lines and color small details can be done with these markers, as their fine point tips measure 1.1 millimeters. The low-odor ink doesn’t have the strong offensive odor that is associated with markers, earning it ACMI safety approval and making it comfortable for use. These markers will also deliver the same depth of color after being uncapped for two days as they did on the first day they were uncapped. Even with exposure to sunlight, the colors remain unaffected.

Unlike the plastic grips featured on most markers, the BIC Marking Permanent Markers have rubber grips that make holding them a comfortable task that can be done for long periods at a time. The grips are also textured and longer, increasing the ease of using these markers for your art projects.

BIC also makes other markers we think will interest you. Below are some of them:
  • The BIC Intensity Fineliner: Comes in packs of six and 10 water-based and bleed-proof markers. The 0.4-millimeter tips mean details can be easily and professionally drawn
  • The BIC Brite Liner Grip Highlighter: Available in packs of five and 12 markers. Has a textured rubber grip and a chisel-tip, and comes in a bright yellow color
  • The BIC Great Erase Grip: A set of 12 all-black markers that can be used to write on whiteboards, glass and many non-porous surfaces
Best Value
The Crayola Pip-Squeaks Skinnies Washable Markers have a slim barrel design that fits kids’ little hands for an enjoyable coloring experience. The colors wash off clothes and skin easily after a fun coloring session. If you’re looking for a collection of Crayola’s brightest and truest colors yet (courtesy of its ColorMAX innovation), check out the Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Broad Line Markers.

Crayola Pip-Squeaks Skinnies 64-Count Washable Markers with Slim Barrel Design

Crayola began as Binney & Smith, a partnership between two cousins that made paints for barns and tires. In 1903, as a solution to the need for wax crayons that were safe and low-priced for schools, the company made its first box of crayons with eight colors and named it Crayola. Due to its commitment to the manufacturing of safe products, it became one of the founding members of ACMI, the Arts and Creative Materials Institute. Today, Crayola produces a number of innovative coloring tools that not only inspire children, but allow them to bring their dreams and fantasies to a colorfully vibrant life.

The Crayola Pip-Squeaks Skinnies Washable Markers have a great variety of colors so that no coloring project goes unfinished for want of the right color. With its collection of bright primaries and soothing pastels, you’re sure to find the right color and shade for simple coloring tasks or intricate details in abstracts. The small barrels make it easy for your kids to wrap their little hands around them, and their short length means your kids don’t have to struggle with the markers when they’re drawing the whiskers on their cat picture or filling out the blue in a cloud. These markers have conical tips with fine points that create fine lines and thick, broad strokes of color when placed sideways.

The markers are arranged in four cardboard tiers inside a sturdy flip-top box that can be used to store the markers and keep them organized. The caps can be snapped on the bottom ends of the markers during use. These markers do not dry out quickly, and the ink lasts long too, in spite of their short lengths. Grown-ups aren’t left out of the fun, as these markers can meet their coloring needs, whether they're using adult coloring books, scrapbooking or writing.

For parents out there, the washable feature is a welcome one that makes it easier to just relax and watch the kids enjoy coloring their clothes, walls, their selves, and even their infant siblings!

Other markers from Crayola include:
  • The Crayola Broad Point Washable Markers – Classic Pack of 2: Contains eight colors with durable broad tips
  • The Crayola 10 Count Broad Line Original Markers – Classic: Features the original Crayola classic colors with broad tips
  • The Crayola 8 Count Washable Tropical Colors: Markers with the lush colors of the tropics and large conical tips
The Mr. Sketch Scented Washable Markers feature 12 cheerful colors in sets of three that are named after the fruits they smell like. The chisel tips produce three line widths, from precise lines to broad strokes. If you’d like more of these markers, actually over 200 of them, get the Mr. Sketch Scented Stix Markers. Each marker has a fine 0.8-millimeter tip.

Mr. Sketch Scented Washable Markers, Chisel Tip- Available in 5 Different Counts

Since 1965, Mr. Sketch has been the go-to brand for kids as well as adults, parents and educators who appreciate the tickling of an extra sense as they bring their dreams to life via art. These markers are a source of many nostalgic memories for those of us who remember sliding the markers out of their boxes and enjoying the sweet scents of cotton candy or apples as we added finishing touches to bows and blades of grass. These markers come in deliciously fruity scents such as banana, watermelon, raspberry, blueberry and more. Recently, Mr. Sketch introduced Movie Night, Ice Cream and Holiday themed packs, with scents such as Buttery Popcorn, Sugar Cookie, Nacho Cheese, Candy Cane and Mint Chocolate Chip.

The Mr. Sketch Scented Washable Markers come in 12 colors and five different counts. The 36-count set has three of each color. This makes this a great marker for group coloring drawing or coloring sessions, as there is more than one of each color. The colors are named after the fruits and spices they smell like; for instance, the greens are apple and mint, the brown is cinnamon, and so on. With markers smelling this nice, kids are encouraged to let their imaginations run free as the markers evoke within them a feeling that says, “Anything is possible.”

The chisel tips on these markers are quite versatile, offering three different line sizes. Depending on how you hold them, they can be used to create precise lines, thicker broad strokes and medium in-between strokes. Your kids can achieve these different widths without having to switch markers – convenient, right?

Here are other equally delightful markers from Mr. Sketch:
  • The Mr. Sketch Special Combo Scented Markers: With 12 chisel tips and six stix tip markers, a total of 18 markers in all
  • The Mr. Sketch Ice Cream Scented Markers: A pack of six markers, each with an individual, yummy, fun smell
  • The Mr. Sketch Scented Intergalactic Markers: Featuring six cosmic neon hues for a fun trip into outer space
  • The Mr. Sketch Combo 28-Pack Scented Stix Markers: Includes the Original, Holiday, Movie Night, and Ice Cream theme packs
The Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Art Markers let you draw lines of different widths, from skinny lines to thick ones. Both tips use ink from the same source, for the same quality whichever end you use. If you’re looking to unleash your inner Picasso with a set of black markers with tips that range from 005 to C size, try the Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers.

Prismacolor Premier Chisel and Fine Double Ended Art Markers – Available in 8, 10, 12 and 12 Counts

Prismacolor was created by Berol in 1938 and is currently a Sandford and subsequently, a Newell brand. Prismacolor manufactures artist-grade stationery that include markers, colored pencils, charcoal, graphite, pastels, and other accessories such as erasers, blenders, and fixatives. It sees art as the primary vehicle for self-expression. Through its website and blog, it encourages its numerous customers to be bold and vibrant by providing a platform for the exhibition of their works.

Available in multiple counts, the Prismacolor’s Premier Double Ended Art Markers bring your manga sketches to rich, vibrantly colored life, whether you’re a beginner, an art student, or an experienced artist. The set of 12 premium markers is designed for professional artistry; they feature bright skin tones and other colors that are suitable for portraits. The dual-tipped design of these markers adds a touch of multi-functionality to them. On one end, there is a fine tip for precision drawing and coloring, and a chisel tip at the second end allows you to draw lines of different widths and apply coverage to your art. These are great for coloring mandalas and other adult coloring undertakings.

The ink used in these markers has an alcohol and dye base for good color saturation and coverage that’s silky smooth. Since they're dye-based, the marks they make are transparent, and you can use them to create designs on patterned paper. The ink flows to both tips from a single source in its barrel, so you get the same result any time you use either end of the markers.

Prismacolor has more markers on offer, and here are some of them:
  • The Prismacolor Premier Black & Sepia Manga Illustration Markers: An eight-count pack with assorted tips
  • The Prismacolor Scholar Art Markers: A set of 20 brush-tipped markers designed to prime the student artist for the big league
  • The Prismacolor Premier Fine Line Illustration Markers: An all-black, five-count pack with fine tips in five different sizes for precision drawing and coloring
  • The Prismacolor Premier Illustration Brush Tip Art Markers: An eight-count pack which allows you to make varied sized lines in eight different colors
The Sharpie Extreme Permanent Markers are high contrast markers that leave vividly clear strokes. They're great for marking or drawing on outdoor gear, as the fade-resistant ink withstands rain, snow, and UV rays. Need more colors? We advise you to check out the Sharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors.

Sharpie Extreme Permanent Markers – Available in 4 Different Packs, 5 Different Colors

Sharpie was founded in 1964 and has worked hard to earn itself a place in the hearts of its many loyal customers. This is the brand that gave the world its first pen-styled marker, which has become the pen of choice for athletes, politicians, celebrities and other such persons from whom autographs are expected – and demanded. Sharpie markers feature a superb tip with which you can confidently draw or write on just about any surface such as paper of any kind (this goes without saying), wood, stone, metal – you name it.

The Sharpie Extreme Permanent Markers leave marks that will outlast heavy downpours, scorching sunlight, cold winters and pretty much anything nature throws at it. They use ink that was specially created to be fade-resistant, and marks made with it will stay put for no less than 96 hours on most surfaces. This means that your sporting equipment (balls, mitts, etc.) and outdoor gear can be clearly marked for straightforward identification. If you’re going to be displaying or labeling things that will be stationed outdoors, this feature will also come in handy. Other items such as playground toys, lunch packs, water bottles, school bags and uniforms can also be marked with these markers so that kids won’t have a hard time finding their things among a bunch of similar-looking items.

The tips have an improved design with greater porosity for the delivery of more ink in wider lines and bolder contrasts, thus improving legibility with marks and lines that will stand out brightly. The ink doesn’t run out quickly, so you’ll be using these for quite a while before you have to go out and grab another pack.

Other great Sharpie markers include:
  • The Sharpie Chisel Tip Permanent 8-Count Markers: In Sharpie classic colors; versatile and can be used in homes, schools and offices
  • The Sharpie Industrial 3 Pack: Writes effortlessly on metal, glass, film, foil and plastic. It can withstand up to 5000 Fahrenheit of heat
  • The Sharpie King Size Permanent Marker: An all-black, four-count marker pack with felt chisel tips and water-resistant, non-toxic ink
  • The Sharpie Metallic Permanent Markers: A six-count pack of assorted metallic colors, with sturdy fine tips for detailed marking or drawing on different surfaces
  • The Sharpie Retractable Permanent Markers: A 12-count pack of fine point markers in assorted colors

How Do I Choose the Best Marker?

It’s back to school season! You're probably neck-deep in shopping activities, looking for all the necessary supplies. Whether you’re a parent shopping for sturdy and fun lunchboxes for your kids or a trustworthy calculator for those in high school, a college student prepping for another semester of studying, or both, it’s important that you miss nothing, not even paper clips or the much-needed pens and markers.

For many of us, markers are a part of our everyday life, especially those of us with artistic inclinations. Parents and teachers know how quickly pre-schoolers get through a box of markers. Virtually everyone, young or old, has used markers as tools to bring art to life. Coloring is also an effective way to relax. With the increasing demand for adult coloring books, good markers are a natural part of the mix, as there will be no stress-relieving with a frustrating marker. Markers are also used for writing in notebooks and journals – and for the more glamorous purpose of signing autographs, too.

Know the projects that you’ll be tackling with the marker before you pay for it. This way, you’re sure to end up with a marker that will deliver satisfactory sketches, pictures, colors and markings for you.
Markers may be sold singly, or in packs of two to over 200 markers. With most manufacturers and stores, the larger the pack, the more economical it will be. Since it’s the season of sales on stationery and other related items, our advice is that you invest in the packs that’ll be large enough to see you through a school year. The price markers are sold for depends on the brand and the features. Well-known brands have a name to protect, and they produce markers that reflect this. The design of the markers and the quality of products used in their manufacture also go a long way to determine how much they’ll be sold for. You’ll likely find the price range of markers to be between $4 to about $30. While they may seem like really good offers, cheap markers are not worth the frustration caused by leaks, drying out and heavy bleeding that they’ll cause in the long run.
We know you’d like to end up with a great performing marker and as such, we’re going to show you some of the features to look for in a marker. Let’s start with odor. A safe marker won't have you holding your breath when you use it. It shouldn’t give people with asthma a cause for concern, either. There's usually a characteristic odor in markers, but it shouldn’t be overpoweringly offensive. Check for safety certifications on a marker before you decide to purchase it.

Some other important features to look for include include:
  • Type
  • Tip
  • Count
  • Colors
  • Ink
Construction and Design
Markers are designed with a barrel, a tip, an inkwell and a cap. The barrel is the part of the marker that you hold while you’re using it. It’s generally made with plastic and houses the ink. The tip and ink are two major parts of a marker; these two parts determine how well your drawings and writings will turn out. Marker tips are also called nibs, and they come in two types. One type is a slender, plastic tip held in a funnel made of metal. These tips are quite firm and deliver a smooth, even flow of ink. They can be used to make fine lines and color artwork with lots of tiny details. They are also suitable for writing. The other type is a fibrous, spongy felt tip. They’re usually cone-shaped and deliver more versatility, as they can be used for precision work and to create broad strokes for shading or coloring.

Another thing to know about is the size of the tips. There isn’t any general measurement for fineness of marker tips, and so the definition differs with brand. Markers come with ultrafine, fine, medium and broad tips. Markers are usually marketed as chisel tips and fine tips; chisel tips are angled and can create more than one line width, depending on how they are held.

The ink may be water-, paint- (or pigment), oil- or alcohol-based. Alcohol-based inks are used in permanent markers. Alcohol- and oil-based inks are more prone to bleeding than others and are designed for use on special paper, such as glossy and cardstock papers, and other surfaces, including walls, wood, metal, and ceramics. If you’re creating work that will be stored for quite some time, be sure the ink is acid-free so that it doesn’t deteriorate.
Performance and Ease of Use
There are basically two types of markers: permanent and washable. Permanent markers don’t fade or wash off the surfaces they’ve been used to write on. These markers are great for labeling and marking personal items. Washable markers are water-based. They're recommended for children, as the stains can be washed off clothes, walls, floors and skin with ease.

Consider the number of markers available in a set and the range of colors they come in. Unless you’re looking for markers in a single color, this is important to remove any restrictions on your creativity as you draw. More markers in a pack also mean that for family and school settings, there are enough markers to go around. There will more drawing and coloring and less bickering and fighting.

You can also get scented markers that come in various fun and pleasant fragrances. These markers are in no way the exclusive reserve of kids and can be enjoyed by adults too.

Get the Best Marker of 2023!

Did you find the markers you need? Sure, you did. Now, go on, order them and cross them off the shopping list. We are glad to have helped you!

Our Top Choice
BIC Marking Permanent Marker Fashion Colors
Best Value
Crayola Pip-Squeaks Skinnies Washable Markers
Mr. Sketch Scented Washable Markers
Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Art Markers
Sharpie Extreme Permanent Markers